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innovation DAILY

Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis.  These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.

Now its third year, Otis College of Art andDesign’s report on the L.A. creative economy finds that the industry, excluding manufacturing segments, is projected to grow by an estimated 4,000 jobs, or 1.6 percent, by 2013.

The report, using 2008 statistics, was commissioned by Otis and prepared by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

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The Department of Defense pre-released its 2010.1 SBIR Topics this morning. The solicitation will be open to proposal submission from December 10, 2009 at 6AM ET through January 13, 2010 6AM ET.

You may directly contact the Topic Manger (listed with the topic) to ask technical questions/clarification prior to December 10th. After this date, your questions and the responding answers will be made public on the website. The DOD is looking for specific solutions to their specific problems A clear understanding of the full problem, mission of the unit needing the solution, and the role of any prime contractors already involved in the solution can be critical information necessary for an effective proposal. Be sure to take advantage of this time to ask questions while you have a competitive advantage.

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BWThe venture capital market appears to be bottoming out after a long decline, according to a Fenwick & West survey of the venture capital market for the third quarter of 2009.

There are two significant data points worth pulling out. First, the number of investment rounds for higher valuations (i.e. “up rounds”) exceeded the number of investment rounds for lower valuations (i.e “down rounds”) for the first time this year. Up rounds exceeded down rounds 41% to 36%, according to the survey. In the second quarter, down rounds exceeded up rounds 46% to 32%.

This the equivalent of a rising valuations in the stock market, suggesting that VCs are getting more optimistic about the value of venture-backed startups.

 

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SINGAPORE, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government would make Malaysia a better place to live and work in to bring back its citizens who are residing overseas as well as attract global talents to the country.

"We will create more opportunities, more excitement and more buzz in Malaysia to attract the Malaysian diaspora and expatriates to the country," Najib said on Friday night.

Speaking at a dinner he hosted for the Malaysian community here, the prime minister said that in the current challenging world, Malaysia needed the best talents and brains to develop and prosper the country.

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Ontario is supporting a new commercialization centre that will help digital media entrepreneurs build new companies and create jobs.

The province plans to invest more than $26 million in The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator (“The Hub”), a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

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7th edition of the Report on Innovation and Enterprise Centres in Poland was published in November. The publication was prepared by the Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

The report presents the centres’ achievements, potential and future development directions as well as points out expansion barriers which may be encountered by certain types of the centres.Since 1990 the number of innovation and enterprise centres has been systematically growing to reach 717 in 2009. The number covers 23 technology parks and 23 other park initiatives, 17 technology incubators, 51 pre-incubators (i.e. academic enterprise incubators), 46 enterprise incubators, 87 centres for technology transfer and 318 training and information centres.

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Africa College is a national and international partnership between like-minded individuals in academia and non-profit organizations involved in Research for Development. The project’s formal title is Human Health and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa, Plant and Environmental Scientists working closely with colleagues in Medicine and Health seek to tackle hunger and poverty in Africa and so improve human health and enhance food security. A key aim is to develop agricultural solutions to fundamental problems and so improve livelihoods in Africa.
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The Department of Energy has billions in loan guarantees to hand out to alternative energy firms and automakers. But the highly competitive process has been criticized as slow, unmoving even.

What is a government agency to do? Hire a venture capitalist, of course.

The DOE announced Wednesday the appointment of Jonathan Silver, a former managing general partner at Washington D.C.-based venture capitalist firm Core Capital Partners, to head its loan guarantee and green auto programs. Core Capital invests in alternative energy, software, telecommunications and advanced manufacturing technology.

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NYTAnyone familiar with Tom Cruise’s breakout role in “Risky Business” or the reality television series “Shark Tank” has a pretty good idea of what business plan competitions are.

They’re contests held — often but not always — by institutions of higher education to prepare newcomers for the rigors of entrepreneurship. They require participants to conceive an original company, summarize it in writing, and — if invited — expand on the idea before a panel of investors, sponsors and business owners.

 

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WASHINGTON—America’s small businesses, often called the driver of the U.S. economy, will finally get a break, if President Barack Obama has his way.

“American entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines that create new jobs and develop the innovations that will keep our Nation strong,” Karen G. Mills, Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator, said during a Small Business White House ceremony, according to its Web site.

Obama promised to push through Congress a bill to increase small business loans from $2 million to $5 million, increasing “CDC-504” loans to $ 5.5 million, and SBA microloans from $35,000 to $55,000.
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NYTFollowing is the first set of answers from Seth W. Pinsky, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. This week, he is answering readers’ questions about citywide entrepreneurship, including job training, competitions, investment funds and efforts to encourage industries like green technology, bioscience, fashion, media and technology, manufacturing and distribution, and the arts.
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The UK Innovation Investment Fund, a government-backed fund of funds set up to benefit private British companies, is ready to announce the manager selected to oversee the vehicle’s investments.

Whilst a fund of funds manager has already been chosen, the name will be revealed next month as the government plans to raise a £1bn (€1.1bn) pool of capital to aid UK innovation.

The Departments for Business Innovation & Skills, Energy and Climate Change and Health are cornerstone investors, committing £150m (€168.2m) alongside private sector investors on a pari-passu basis. The fund of funds, therefore, will have a minimum of £300m (€336.4m) to invest in underlying venture capital funds; however, the UK IIF is targeting £1bn.

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